In India, the dominance of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and their attempt to impose Hinduism on the entire peninsula, tends to obscure the fact that Islam remains a violent persecution factor for Christians in the region.
“Many kidnappings have recently taken place, targeting 14-15 year old girls,” worries Bishop Sebastian Shaw, from the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) and Archbishop of Lahore, Pakistan, on September 27, 2019.
According to a survey conducted by the ACN in Pakistan, more than 700 Christian girls were abducted in one year: a figure that makes one’s blood run cold, especially when we know that these kidnappings are coupled with forced conversions to Islam.
This new form of persecution—that the media has dressed up with the surprisingly complacent expression of Love Jihad—is not limited to Pakistan, far from it.
In neighboring India, the vice president of the National Minority Commission, George Kurian, sounded the alarm: “The Christian girls of the Kerala state have become easy targets for Islamists,” he said on September 23, 2019.
And Mr. Kurian adds that, “The spate of organized religious conversions and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through ‘love jihad’ has shown that the Christian community is a soft target for Islamic radicals.”
More serious still: after the investigations are carried out following several attacks attributed to the Islamic radicals, the young Christians who have apostatized will have “undergone a true brainwashing in order to be instrumentalized” for terrorist purposes, assures George Kurian.
“This kind of kidnapping is a crime and should be treated as such,” says Bishop Shaw. A statement of little weight when we know that Islam claims 97% of the population in Pakistan, and 27% in Kerala, India, where Catholicism is also a minority.